The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A Minute with McCloskey: What does “The Hawk Will Never Die” really mean?


I have been asked multiple times over the past two weeks why I continue to attend every St. Joe’s men’s basketball home game even though the team has a record of 4-21. I am asked why I stand for the entire 40 minutes screaming at the top of my lungs when the team is losing by double digits.

My answer: The Hawk Will Never Die.

We, as students, hear this phrase almost as much as we hear about the magis. If you are ever speaking to a St. Joe’s alumni, nine times out of 10 the final sentence of the conversation will be, “The Hawk Will Never Die.” This phrase is rooted in more than just basketball.

When I was in elementary school and attended my first St. Joe’s basketball game, I took the phrase literally. It made sense to me, not really understanding how life worked, that the same person could have been under the Hawk’s head since the school opened. Now, of course, I know better.

After four years on Hawk Hill, the phrase “The Hawk Will Never Die” is finally beginning to have true meaning to me both in Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena for basketball games and in my everyday life.

The phrase “The Hawk Will Never Die” originated 66 years ago in 1954. PHOTO: MITCHELL SHIELDS ’22/THE HAWK

In the final minute of play of men’s basketball games, the student section chants “The Hawk Will Never Die” over and over again until time expires. We could be winning or losing. It could be the best game the Hawks have ever played or the worst. It doesn’t matter. We chant.

We chant to show the players, the coaches and the fans that no matter what is happening on the court, we recognize the tradition that the Hawk represents.

The 2019-20 season has clearly been a low point for the Hawks. It is the first time in the history of the program that the team has started conference play winless through twelve games. The Hawk isn’t dead, though. Rather, the Hawk is very much still alive.

On the court, this phrase can be seen in senior guard Toliver Freeman. Freeman started his career as a walk-on. In his fresh- man season, Freeman played in just one game. In his sophomore season, five games. Then, in his junior season, Freeman played in seven games and was awarded a scholarship for the spring semester. This season, Freeman has seen himself in the starting lineup for the Hawks in each of the past 12 games for the Hawks.

Freeman has refused to let the Hawk inside of him die. We must also allow the Hawk to live on inside of us.

As graduation is drawing near, I am realizing what the identity of the Hawk truly means for me. Yes, I am the guy who sits in the second row of the student section screaming until I lose my voice at every basketball game, but my time spent as a Hawk spans far beyond the basketball court.

I spent time this weekend reflecting on where the Hawk has touched my life over the past four years. Conversations in Campion Dining Hall, late nights in the library, surviving wind vortexes in front of Villiger Hall, relationships that have grown and failed and all of the smiles along the way. The Hawk is so much more than a mascot. It is a feeling of home, of happiness and of family.

In a season where the Hawk may be struggling to live on the basketball court, we must turn inward and find the Hawk inside each of us. Bring the Hawk inside you to life today and every day.

No matter how far you go from Hawk Hill, the Hawk inside of you will never die.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *